Last week we announced an enhancement to this column: In addition to recipe requests and responses, we will often profile a home cook as well.
It didn't take long for an appreciative husband — the best kind — to get the ball rolling.
Beau Evans of Mount Pleasant suggested his wife, whom he described as his “beautiful bride.” That racks up quite a few points, too.
“Her name is Kathryn Kimbrell Evans and I have had the pleasure benefiting from her culinary talents for a little over two years now. ... She can do so many things well but a couple that come to mind is her tiramisu with homemade Kahlua as well as her cobblers. The tiramisu is her best but the cobbler is unique since she browns the crust to make it very crisp. Outside of baking, she is a big Julia Child fan and has made on a couple (of) occasions the boeuf bourguignon.”
So today, we have the pleasure of introducing:
Kathryn K. EvansAge: 30Family: Love of my life, Beau; and dog, Argos
Occupation: Technical writer for CGI Federal
Home: Mount PleasantQ: In suggesting you, your husband praised your tiramisu and cobbler. Are desserts and/or baking your first love in the kitchen?
A: Yes, desserts/baking is what I love to do most. It's very precise and measured, which is what I like. The idea of adding subtleties to a mixture and seeing the transformation at the end is amazing. But most of all, I love serving that final touch at the end of a meal, seeing and hearing the delight of how delicious it is!
Q: What sparked your interest in cooking?
A: I lived in China a few years ago and definitely could not cook! I couldn't make a grilled cheese sandwich. But because of living in such a remote place and not having access to canned or frozen goods, I had to teach myself how to cook if I wanted to eat anything other than Chinese food.
And I had to learn to do it from scratch. It really sparked an interest in the basics and essentials of cooking. I made my own English muffins, tortillas, cereals, cream of mushroom, etc. I'm addicted now!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: All over the place. I will try anything! My style is whatever I have on hand and whatever I feel like eating. I think I can count on one hand how many things I've made more than one time. I almost never make a dish twice.
Q: What is your favorite cookbook?
A: It's my own. I've gathered recipes throughout my life of what I call “tried and trues.” Recipes from my time in Asia, recipes from my grandmother, my mother, friends, ones I've tried myself. Those are the ones I pull from.
Q: Do you watch food TV? If so, what show or chef do you like?
A: I love food TV. My favorite show is “Chopped.” I love seeing what ingredients they have to use that evening. I learn so much about ingredients that could potentially go together and what I can do with those items. It sparks creativity in me.
Q: If you were planning a menu for a casual dinner party this month, what would be on it?
A: A meat and cheese platter with a specialty cocktail for an appetizer. And because it's summer, we would absolutely be grilling. I would throw on barbecue chicken with my homemade barbecue sauce served with heirloom tomato pasta salad and grilled corn on the cob. I absolutely always have dessert, so I would probably make some sort of berry cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream.
A favorite recipe:
Ingredients2/3 cup sugar3 cups whipping cream, divided use
2 eggs2 egg yolks1 tablespoon flour
1/2 vanilla bean, split down the middle
16 ounces mascarpone cheese1 cup strong coffee
4 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
1 (7-ounce) package crisp-type ladyfingers (see cook's note)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar1 tablespoon dark cocoa
DirectionsCook's note: Kathryn uses “hard” ladyfingers rather than the soft and spongy ones. They are not available at every grocery — she finds them at Harris Teeter with the specialty cookies.
Stir together sugar, 2 cups of the whipping cream and the next four ingredients, scraping the inside of the vanilla bean into a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thickened. Cool completely. Discard the vanilla bean pods and cool. Whisk in the mascarpone.
Stir together the coffee and coffee liqueur. Dip half of the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and place side-by-side to cover the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking dish. Pour half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Repeat.
Beat the remaining 1 cup whipping cream at high speed with a mixer until foamy; gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until the consistency of whipped cream. Spoon over the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle liberally with dark cocoa. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
Green and grilled
Alfred Papillon of Summerville responded to the recent request for grilled asparagus and egg. The reader, Jean Henderson, actually was seeking the version she enjoyed at 17 North restaurant in Mount Pleasant back in January. We spoke to someone at the restaurant about it, but so far, we've heard nothing back. Restaurant recipes are not easy quests!
Anyway, Alfred wanted to help out after spotting recipes from chef Gale Gand in the June issue of Better Homes & Gardens and online.
Grilled Asparagus with Fried Eggs & Parmesan
Serves 4Ingredients2 pounds asparagus spears (about 40)
1 tablespoon olive oil1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and ground black pepper2 teaspoons butter
8 eggsCoarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
DirectionsSnap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. In a large bowl toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub oil onto asparagus spears to coat evenly.
Grill asparagus, covered, directly over medium-hot coals for 5 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add butter and wait until it foams. Add eggs to hot butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cook eggs for 3 to 4 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken. Divide asparagus among four plates. Place two eggs on each mound of asparagus. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Who's got the recipe?
Cheryl Townsend says she has a request for an old recipe. “My Johns Island garden is producing zucchini and I've fixed it grilled, steamed, stir-fried, in a casserole and made zucchini bread. My sister Barbara remembered our grandmother used to make zucchini fritters. My sister doesn't have the recipe, but she thinks they were made with grated zucchini, beaten egg and maybe cornmeal. Does anyone have a similar recipe?”
From Betsy Monahan: “I have read your column every Sunday for the last 18 years and finally have a request of my own. I am hopelessly addicted to Chick-fil-A sauce. Could you possibly ask your readers if anyone has a recipe that mimics it?”
Food editor's request: I had lunch with friends at the Grace Episcopal Church's Tea Room recently, and the cold cucumber soup was delicious. Would love to have that recipe to share here!
If there's a recipe you've lost, have memories of, or a dish you are just wondering about, email food@postandcourier or call Food Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.
Or, if you would like to suggest a good home cook to be profiled, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Good Cook” as the subject line. Briefly describe the person's talent and how you know him or her, and provide their phone number or email address so we can contact them.